New Imaging Guidelines for Nuclear Cardiology Procedures





A new guideline published this month by the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) provides practicing nuclear cardiologists, electronic healthcare records, standards writers, and report generation software companies with a comprehensive resource to standardize the reporting of nuclear cardiology procedures.

This new reporting guideline addresses the need for a defined structure of standardized data elements to facilitate utilization of the complex data contained in an imaging report into the integrated healthcare of the patient through the electronic health record. The structured report is an integral part to define quality in nuclear cardiology practices, and its implementation is a mechanism to improve patient quality and outcomes, as well as reduce cost.

The goals of this new standardized reporting guideline include updates to the 2009 guideline; reflect changes that have been made to definitions since the first version for the registry; and reflect significant changes to nuclear cardiology practice, with new and innovative technologies. The new guideline is also intended to help ASNC drive the next version of the ImageGuide Registry™ regarding new developments and data elements, as well as areas of focus.

“The new reporting guideline has been developed to reflect the current breadth and depth of Nuclear Cardiology today,” states Peter Tilkemeier, MD, lead author of the guideline. “The use of standardized data to report studies has become increasingly important as we see increasing utilization of electronic health records. The guideline addresses the needs of the nuclear cardiologist to clearly communicate the results of complex imaging studies using standardized data in a structured format.”

An essential part of structured reporting is the ability to use and incorporate other standards to facilitate data sharing among many different sources. This guideline, which is intended for international use, consists of tables composed of the variables, their description (i.e., text, numeric, date), priority (i.e., required, recommended, or optional), and the allowed response(s). This guideline is designed to provide imaging physicians and technologists the necessary information to report nuclear cardiology procedures in a structured format using standardized data elements.